- Payout #1 - $1.01 Billion (See graphic below)
- Payout #2 - $1.15 Billion
- A high percentage of poverty
- A higher than average unemployment rate
- Vast agricultural resources that have fallen on hard times due to shifts in the agricultural industry
- A need for revitalization in order to remake itself
Wikipedia entry - The Black Belt region
The Black Belt is a region of the Southern United States. Although the term originally describes the prairies and dark soil of central Alabama and northeast Mississippi, it has long been used to describe a broad region in the American South characterized by a high percentage of black people. They were originally enslaved laborers on the region's cotton plantations and many stayed as rural workers, tenant farmers and sharecroppers after the American Civil War.
Because of the decline of family farms, the rural communities in the Black Belt commonly face acute poverty, rural exodus, inadequate education programs, low educational attainment, poor health care, substandard housing, and high levels of crime and unemployment. While African-American residents are disproportionately affected, these problems apply broadly to all ethnic groups in the Black Belt. There are various definitions of the region and its boundaries, but it is generally considered a band through the center of the Deep South, although stretching from as far north as Delaware to as far west as eastern Texas.
The Needs For Underserved Communities
The article in the "Final Call' show a bus tour to see the terminally poor in Mississippi and Louisiana. The individuals on the trip show their connection to the people per their visit in the first place but also a truckload of goods to meet the needs of the people for at least a short time.
As the subtitle hints:"Blacks still living in horrible poverty inside the WORLD'S RICHEST NATION" - living inside of a vessel may allow all to float but does not insure that everyone on board will be plugged into the "wealth generating processes" that are going on on-board the ship.
The unspoken indictment against "the richest nation in the world" asks that the nation become more mindful of "the Least Of These" but doesn't intrinsically ask anything of them in the process of becoming the "un-least of these".
In addition to these areas of high concentrations of poverty per their regional assignment there have been several reports about what are being called "Food Deserts" . These are defined as:
A food desert is a district with little or no access to foods needed to maintain a healthy diet but often served by plenty of fast food restaurants.Production/Financing/Wholesaling/Distribution/Retailing
- 'Physical access' to shops can be difficult if the shops are distant, the shopper is elderly or infirm, the area has many hills, public transport links are poor, and the consumer has no car.
- 'Financial access' is difficult if the consumer lacks the money to buy healthful foods (generally more expensive, calorie for calorie, than less healthful, sugary, and fatty 'junk foods') or if the shopper cannot afford the bus fare to remote shops selling fresh foods and instead uses local fast food outlets.
- Mental attitude or food knowledge of the consumer may prevent them accessing fresh vegetables.
Per my steady research on areas within the Black diaspora, particularly places where people are coming out of colonialism and must now assume the operation of the economy - the failure of the system of food production resides in the disruption of the steps of:
- Production and Harvesting of Agricultural & Livestock
- Commodity Financing
- Wholesale Aggregation & Processing
- Distribution Of Goods To Regional Centers
- Providing Access To Consumers At The Retail End Point
- The farmers needing a penned up market to insure their viability
- The "least of these" needing a source of healthy foods.
- Address the need for material goods & services and jobs in the community
- Properly channel the pride and mental uplift that comes with "self-determination" into measurable benefit
- The investment in a Options Financing Exchange - where farmers can lock in a price for their goods and obtain financing off of the contracts for future crop yields
- The investment in a Commodity Exchange system - where needs are matched up with production
- The investment in a Wholesale Distribution system - where the goods from individual producers are sold and the market demands are fulfilled
- The investment in a Commercial Shipping Operator - where the logistics that move the goods from one distribution center to the next is conducted